The City of Rockford announced recently the creation and appointments of LGBTQIA+ Liaisons for both the City and the Rockford Police Department. The Liaisons serve as accessible and friendly ears to the City’s LGBTQIA+ community and elevate related concerns to the Mayor’s Office and the Chief of Police.

Emily Schmidt, Manager of Youth Prevention and Intervention Strategies, has taken on the additional role of LGBTQIA+ Liaison for the City, while Michelle Marcomb, Media and Marketing Coordinator, has taken on the role of LGBTQIA+ Liaison for the police department.

“As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I know the challenges this community faces,” says Emily. “I think this is the perfect opportunity for me to help strengthen the relationship between the LGBTQIA+ community and our local government. These appointments allow citizens of Rockford to have direct contacts to raise concerns, share praise, as well as the ability to notify the City of events sponsored by the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. The creation of both Liaison positions provides a coordinated response to the community’s needs and will increase visibility and safety for the LGBTQIA+ community.”

“With multiple family members in this community, this appointment furthers my commitment as an ally,” says Michelle. “A section of the Rockford Police Department Mission Statement states that we are committed to making the City of Rockford a safe community in which to live, work and flourish.  My main focus is to assist with that mission and help foster an inclusive environment both internally and externally so that all members of the LGBTQIA+ community feel safe in reporting issues that may be impacting them.”

In 2021, the City of Rockford was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for the city’s inclusive LGBTQIA+ laws, policies, and services. The HRC ranked Rockford as the 3rd highest rated city in the State of Illinois in its 10th Annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI is updated annually and is used to measure how inclusive municipal policies, laws, and services are for the LGBTQIA+ community. The MEI rates cities on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQIA+ equality. Learn more about the Municipal Equality Index at hrc.org/mei.